Tag Archives | Enlightenment
Many assume Enlightenment values will triumph over violence and prejudice. But in the wake of ISIS and Charlie Hebdo, victory seems less inevitable and the age of reason less secure. Might history not be on our side after all? Do we need more passion to combat zealotry’s allure or will reason alone win in the end?
Philospher and theologian Christopher Hamilton, author of Contesting the Saudi State and visiting professor at LSE Madawi al-Rasheed, and editor of Spiked Online Brendan O’Neill push reason to the extreme.
From the the Christian image of the crucifixion to statues of a skeletal Buddha, pain and suffering, and pushing beyond them, have been perennial themes in religion and spirituality. Both in the East and West — from the samurai to Freemasonry — practitioners have contemplated their own mortality, as part of their practices, reorienting themselves away from trivial personal concerns and toward, to borrow a term from the East, the “Way.”
Yet, today, we are increasingly concerned with comfort and security. Even spirituality itself is repackaged to reassure rather than to challenge practitioners. Offering rare insight, Craig Williams, author of Tantric Physics Vol I: Cave of the Numinous, elaborates on pain and its lessons in the martial arts and Tantra:
… Read the rest
“Pain is one of the keys to unlock man’s innermost being as well as the world,” wrote Ernst Junger. “Whenever one approaches the points where man proves himself to be equal or superior to pain, one gains access to the sources of his power and the secret hidden behind his dominion.
If you run in certain circles, and if you spend enough time around a certain kind of person (or if you live within hitchhiking distance of Crestone, CO), you will eventually find yourself in the company of a person who has convinced themselves that they are “enlightened.” For me, I don’t know why, but it happens a lot. I know a lot of enlightened people. I know so many enlightened people I’m almost surprised that their enlightenment hasn’t somehow rubbed off on me through a spiritual osmosis of some kind. WHAT THE FUCK, UNIVERSE?!!!
In reality, though, it’s a good thing that their enlightenment has never infected me. At least, I think it’s a good thing. Most of these enlightened people are fucking incorrigible. They’re stuffy, haughty, self-serious asswipes who are always trying to point out that you suck because you don’t behave in an enlightened way.… Read the rest
Ugh. I’ve desperately tried to write this essay without referring–for the second essay in a row–to my Sunday living habits. They’re really not that interesting, and I understand that. But I’m sorry. Just like the last essay, the origins of this one occur during those existential lulls that seem to characterize a lot of people’s Christian Sabbath.
You see, in my household–after my morning workout– Sunday mornings are reserved for one of two rituals. One, because my wife is a practicing Catholic, we go to mass. Or, two–if we’re too lazy on that particular morning–we lay around in our sweats and my wife watches “Super Soul Sundays” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Of the two, even though I am a blasphemer, heretic and just an outright nonbeliever, I greatly prefer going to mass, even though it means making the effort to look presentable in public on a Sunday morning and listening to some dweeb in a blouse tell me about how I need to make some more time for gahd/Jesus in my life.… Read the rest
Disinfonauts! Some have this idea that enlightenment can be bought one yoga mat at a time at Whole Foods, but is that the real deal? With so many soft core eastern traditions infiltrating western culture, how do we parse the legitimate from the bullshit?
I had a great conversation with Esotericist, Hermit, Santa Muerte expert and all around, great guy, David Metcalfe for my podcast and we tackle the subject of the Blood Soaked Road to Enlightenment.
I just had to share it with you all.
I’ve never been a fan of black metal (the cookie monster vocals are a definite barrier), but this article from The New Inquiry has given me a new perspective on one of heavy music’s most outré subgenres. In “Black Metal is Sublime,” author Adrian Van Young makes the case for black metal’s roots in the Romantic Era of the early 19th century:
Aesthetically, artistically, and ideologically, Black Metal and Romanticism are two sides of the same scuffed coin. Indeed, right down to the cherry-pit cleft in his chin, Hunt-Hendrix—who has written an 11-page aesthetics manifesto called “Transcendental Black Metal”—is a ringer for none other than Lord Byron, the 19th century bastion of what the poet Robert Southey called the “Satanic school” of verse. The Courier judged Byron as having “a brain from heaven and a heart from hell”—someone who “seems to have lived only that the world might learn from his example how worthless and how pernicious a thing is genius, when divorced from religion, from morals and from humanity.”
“The capacious term ‘spirituality’ lacks clarity because it is not so much a unitary concept as a signpost for a range of touchstones; our search for meaning, our sense of the sacred, the value of compassion, the experience of transcendence, the hunger for transformation.
There is little doubt that spirituality can be interesting, but what needs to be made clearer by those who take that for granted is why it is also important. To be a fertile idea for those with terrestrial power or for those who seek it, we need a way of speaking of the spiritual that is intellectually robust and politically relevant.” – Jonathan Rowson
Between explaining it away as an artifact of the brain and militant rejection of it as leftover cultural/scientific ignorance, spirituality has long been anathema to academic circles (and many corners of the YAY SCIENCE! internet community). If it’s discussed at all, it’s from the proposition of wishful fairy stories, peppered with a healthy amount of contempt and ridicule. … Read the rest
Will Meecham says yes. Via Psych Central:
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My younger years felt poisoned with dissatisfaction, rage, and confusion. Looking back, it’s clear I struggled with many of the difficulties known to stem from adverse home life. Here is my breakdown of the common problems, derived from multiple sources and framed by personal experience: poor self-concept, emotional reactivity, social unease, feelings of emptiness, problems with focus, and stress-induced bodily symptoms.During the years of my recovery, each of these qualities changed from feeling wholly negative to seeming at least partially positive. Taken together, in their new form they help me appreciate life’s majesty even in the face of pain, loss, and illness. To feel privileged to be alive regardless of circumstance is, I suspect, near to realization. There is room for much greater maturity, but most of the time I feel contented and unafraid. What more does a person require?
Most people’s eyes glaze over at the mention of “astrology” these days. Mainly because the first things that spring to mind are spirituality-for-entertainment crystal gazers and a list of general-to-the-point-of-meaningless life forecasts next to the Sunday comics (and now, apparently, a divination system to compete with/outperform other scam artists on Wall Street). Manly P Hall isn’t interested in the horoscope-ified version either, but in examining how it was the ancients studied the stars and their locations, the significance of their movements, and mapping them in constellations. Also, how various myths are mapped to celestial (including planetary and solar) motions.
Hall distinguishes it here as “astro-theology,” and, being a more sophisticated take on the subject, I figured it would be appreciated by disinfonauts (and simply deserves a wider audience, as is). Archetypes, deep symbolism, degrees of consciousness, the Solar Hero Myth (and its many iterations), how these thoughts still effect and pervade our lives – Hall covers a great deal. … Read the rest